African carrier Ethiopian Airlines has placed a $1.1bn order for four 777 Freighters with Boeing to replace its existing fleet and meet increased cargo demand in Africa.

The twin-engine freighter is based on the technologically advanced 777-200LR (longer range) passenger airplane.

The 777 freighter can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070km) with a full payload of 225,200 pounds (102 metric tons), while boasting a high cargo density with 10ft interior height.

Boeing said the air carrier was the first to operate the 777-200LR and the first to order the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with an order for ten of the aircraft.